This year is the first year that LP is aware of the holidays. She has taken a particulat interest in "light up trees." And who can blame her, doesn't everyone love over-the-top Christmas decorations on houses? Fortunately, our across the street neighbor seems to be vying to be a stop on a Christmas light home tour, so she can get her fill of lights without even leaving the house. This is not to say that we won't drive around looking for lit up homes too.
We have been taking every opportunity to reinforce to her that we do not "have Christmas". For example, if she says that our house has light up trees, we remind her that we have Chanukah and that means we have a menorah (when the time comes) but no lights outside.
Tonight will be a big test. For the Hoos and me.
Another one of our neighbors is having a party. It was really nice of our neighbors to invite us and it is a good opportunity for us to build relationships with the people that live around us. The party is built around the fact that Santa will be coming on a fire truck. For a donation, parents give gifts to the fire department to be distributed on an appointed date.
The Hoos and I feel pretty strongly that we don't want Santa to give LP a gift. We are Jewish, we just don't get gifts from Santa. It isn't that we don't believe in Santa, it is just that he doesn't give us presents. In fact, I distinctly remember as a kid looking out my window on Christmas Eve watching for Santa to land on my friends' roofs. I never expected him to land on ours though.
My plan is to bring a small gift for LP that we will give to her to open when the other kids get their presents from Santa. Hopefully she will not be disappointed. I am kind of hoping that she is scared of Santa and doesn't want to go near him.
I am also hoping that our neighbors don't make a big deal of it. I figure they must have an inkling that we are Jewish. But, even if they do, they still might not understand what that means to us (and why/how should they?) and that we are not just being mean by not having Santa give LP our gift.
The Hoos asked me if we should go at all if things are going to be complicated. But I think it is important that we chill with our neighbors. And, obviously, it is going to be impossible for us to avoid Christmas until LP is old enough to understand. Tis the season!
In other news, I was a good samaritan today. There was a small fire on the center median on the Merritt Parkway. I called 411, got the non-emergency number for the Stamford police, and let them know. The cop wasn't even appreciative, he cut me off, "Yeah, we know. We are sending someone." Click. Whatever, I still feel good about it.